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Movie Reviews

'Before You Know It': Wherein the Critic Bemoans ...
Wherein the Critic Bemoans the Vanishing of Local Moviehouses, Extolls the Virtues of Independent Films, Makes the World Safe for Democracy and Sings an Homage to the Family "All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way." — Leo Tolstoy, "Anna Karenina."   This quote came
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'Luce': Enlightening
"It's complicated."   Thus spake Luce Edgar, heretofore the brilliant and handsome apple of every teacher's eye at his high school in Arlington, Va., when the senior's stellar reputation suddenly comes into question. Guilty or not of the swirling accusations, rumors and innuendoes, Kelvin Harrison Jr.'s
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'The Peanut Butter Falcon': Wrestling With Bigotry
It is big-hearted, pleasantly pie-in-the-sky save for some routine tumult in the climax, and provides a good service in dramatizing the realities of living with the genetic disorder known as Down syndrome. But my problem as I viewed "The Peanut Butter Falcon" is that I was more fascinated by the lead actor, Zack Gottsagen, than by the
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'Blinded by the Light': Guidance From Asbury Park
When, what and where was your coming-of-age episode, the epiphany that heralded your entrance into adulthood? You better know, just in case someone decides to film a biographical sketch detailing how you came to be you. I venture to guess that for many folks, at least in the Western World, it had to do with learning, y'know, the truth about
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'The Art of Racing in the Rain': Tearjerker & Tail-Wagger
'Despite a plot-slowing traffic jam midway and the accumulation of saddening clouds in the later laps that almost turns matters into a dirge, director Simon Curtis's "The Art of Racing in the Rain" featured enough enthusiasm and albeit over-the-top sweetness to win me over.    Hey, it's about auto racing
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'The Farewell': And a Fond One at That
Every so often, some philosophically inclined sort seeks a window into your soul by asking, "If you could spend time with anyone now deceased, who would it be, pray tell?"    Akin in hypocrisy to first wishing for world peace or a cure for cancer before asking for a Ferrari whence blowing out my birthday candles, I
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'Once Upon a Time in Hollywood': The Golden Age, Tarnished
While Quentin Tarantino has won two Oscars for his screenplays, with "Once Upon a Time in Hollywood," his most profound motion picture to date, he might finally gather up those statuettes for best film and best directorial effort.    The provocative and quirkily philosophical work is thoroughly entertaining proof
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'The Lion King': Reigns On
Watching director Jon Favreau's spectacularly buoyant homage to the circle of life, I bemoaned not having had a little niece or nephew on loan to give me the moppet point of view. As Art Linkletter noted, kids say the darnedest things, and a quote from Taylor or Max would have at least facilitated an opening paragraph. Hey, I'd of
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'Yesterday': All Over Again
Having experienced the progressive, enlightened and somewhat earth-shaking era of the 1960s, I figured we good citizens had given at the office, that we were forever vaccinated with Pepperland dust and therefore protected from the ignominious cloud currently darkening our horizons. We just can't go back to the Middle Ages. I'd look
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'The Dead Don't Die': Having Fun With the Oxymoron
I'd be impressed if I learned that a history prof in some U.S. university was showing his class director Jim Jarmusch's zombie/horror/comedy "The Dead Don't Die" as an instructive metaphor for the zombies down in Foggy Bottom. It might be a stretch, but then again, c'mon.   Possessed of no morality and
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